No, I don't WANT to see the local yokel network stations

Or let us see why you feel that way, either?

The board seems to have been doing some weird things this afternoon.


Oh dear. I’ll have to post the rant again. Obviously it didn’t “take” the first time.

The gist of it is, I have a satellite dish, and have been getting the East and West Coast network feeds (I’m currently in Central Time). This is partly because I get bad reception on the antenna (and detest cable). I also work evenings, and like being able to catch the West Coast shows, since they come on later, after I get off work. And, last but not least, I like catching up on the L.A. news, since I am homesick.

And I pay extra for this. But soon, I won’t be able to get these stations, because of some law that is forcing the Dish company to withdraw them. Yes, I know that the networks are not my God-given right, or anything. But I don’t see what harm it does for me to watch whatever channels I want to watch.

I don’t want to watch the local yokel Hooterville stations. (“Hooterville” being the un-named midwestern town where I am currently exiled.) I hate the local news (all they do is ramble on about football) and … I just don’t want to see the local stations! Who is this hurting, except for the few local advertisers who I won’t patronize anyway? What’s the harm? After all, I don’t think many people living in Hooterville feel the way I do. I know I’m in the minority - most people want to see the local stuff. So why care if a few oddballs like me slip through the cracks? Why force me to watch the local network affiliates, by taking away any other options? (Well, they can’t force me to watch their crappy local affiliates, except I want to see “X-Files” and “Frasier”.)

It just pisses me off. Why aren’t we all allowed a choice? Well, at least they aren’t taking away KTLA (L.A.'s WB) which is a favorite station anyway. But who knows - they may be working on a way to take that away too! :mad:

Okay, I’m missing something here, it’s late, I’m tired.

You have a satellite dish? “57 channels and nothing’s on”? Like that? And you can’t change the channel? Your TV is somehow permanently set on some kind of local channel? You don’t have a choice as to what to watch?


Fellow dish owner here:

Yes, and the law that was passed to take our network channels away was named something like: “The Viewer Rights Act.” I guess under the theory that if a big enough lie is told, congress will believe it.
I was able to acquire waivers from three of the four networks. CBS refused to issue a waiver, so I don’t watch CBS. It’s that simple.
Maybe you or your company can get waivers for you? Sucks, I know. If it’s technically available, and I’m willing to pay for it, why can’t I watch it? Thought that was the American Way.
I wrote my elected officials in Washington about this, but to no avail.
Good luck with waivers.

No: The network channels from the east and west coast feeds are to be scrambled so that dish owners can’t get them. Only local network channels will be available. Waivers may be granted by the local stations, but they aren’t required to grant them. Currently, her network feeds are from New York and Los Angeles, which gives an option as to what time to watch shows, as well as “big city” news, instead of her “Hooterville” stations.

That’s what pisses me off. They can show it to us, but they just won’t. And no one can really explain the grave harm or injustice that is being done by allowing those of us living in the South or Midwest or wherever from seeing the East and West Coast networks.

I guess I’ve been lucky that I was just “found out” after all this time. I think it was in '99 that the talk about taking our West/East Coast feeds away started, but nothing happened. After all this time, I guess I figured that they didn’t care. So I was pretty surprised (and upset) when I got the letter from the Dish company today. They take it all away on the 15th.

I did write and ask for waivers back in '99, when I thought they’d be taking away my networks the first time. I was turned down for at least one, I guess I should try again. Maybe they’ve softened their stance.

DDG: You are missing the point. I don’t watch the networks that much, but I like having a choice. I like coming home from work at 11 pm and seeing the West Coast showing of “Frasier”. I like watching KNBC’s 11 pm news (shown here at 1 am) to catch up on what’s going on in L.A. You have a problem with that? Why shouldn’t I be “allowed” to watch these stations? Who exactly is it hurting? Why was a law passed that forces the Dish company to withdraw these choices from me, and all the other dish users? It sucks.

Update: They just took away the FOX, CBS and ABC affiliates. A day early. The letter I got said that they would go off the 15th, and it’s only the 14th. However, NBC is still here. I don’t know why. Maybe they will take it away tomorrow, maybe they aren’t going to take it away (maybe the waiver I requested a long time ago went through. I really don’t think so, but…maybe).

When I first got the dish, I was happy to get KTLA, (also a WB affiliate). It was just another “Superstation” that was part of the dish’s programming package. But I see on the satellite dish’s web site that they are no longer offering KTLA as part of any of their “packages” - and they make implications that you can’t subscribe to any UPN/WB stations unless you “qualify”.

I doubt that they’ll root me out and take my KTLA away as yet (since there seems to be no law forcing them to) but it just PISSES me off to think that keeping KTLA might even be iffy in the future. Seriously, getting KTLA was a big part of why I got the damned dish in the first place. Or, at least it was a major perk. (I grew up watching KTLA news. It’s a little slice of home, and has helped the homesickness a LOT.)

I will call my local networks on Monday and ask about getting waivers. Who knows, they might let me actually have a choice in what I get to watch.

QUOTE]*Originally posted by yosemitebabe *
**That’s what pisses me off. They can show it to us, but they just won’t. And no one can really explain the grave harm or injustice that is being done by allowing those of us living in the South or Midwest or wherever from seeing the East and West Coast networks. **

The idea is that local broadcasting is important, and the local channels serve the community. When that law was passed, most satellite companies didn’t carry any local stations, and the must carry laws were passed to force them to do so.

They don’t want you to watch other places’ network channels on the theory that it’s unneccesary and also harmful to your local station…(“She doesn’t need to watch LA NBC, she’s got her local Podunk NBC to watch. Besides, if she watches LA NBC, instead of Podunk NBC, she’ll miss all the Podunk ads”)

So, basically, the local channels think it hurts ad revenue if you’re allowed to see the other cities networks, and since network affiliates make their money off ads…

DDG: You are missing the point. I don’t watch the networks that much, but I like having a choice. I like coming home from work at 11 pm and seeing the West Coast showing of “Frasier”. I like watching KNBC’s 11 pm news (shown here at 1 am) to catch up on what’s going on in L.A. You have a problem with that? Why shouldn’t I be “allowed” to watch these stations? Who exactly is it hurting? Why was a law passed that forces the Dish company to withdraw these choices from me, and all the other dish users? It sucks. **

Sorry about the coding there…I tried to send it last night and it didn’t work, so I sent it again today, and managed to mess the coding up. :slight_smile:

I was going to start a rant about this very thing last week, but was so angry as to be incoherant. We tried to get waivers, we were turned down. This makes me SO angry. I pay over $60 per month, so why can’t I say what channels I get? This is going to make things very difficult around the Lyllyan household on Tuesday nights. Smallville, Buffy and Gilmore Girls all pretty much in the same time slot!
And while I don’t watch the networks except for the aforementioned shows (and Angel), I want a choice. I do not like our local broadcasts. That is one of the reasons I went with satellite in the first place. And I like being able to do other things around local “Prime Time” then watch West Coast when all is quiet at my house. And I do like keeping up with the Denver and LA news. IMHO, much more interesting than the local crap.

I know exactly how you feel.


This is the age of the Interent, of free access to information. So when I find out that it is technically possible to get free access to information, but they just won’t let us, it REALLY pisses me off. I feel like I am being “held captive” by the local networks. “WE have decided you don’t really need to see those other stations. WE should be enough for you.” Sez who?

Oh, I am SO with you there. I have been actively boycotting the local news, ever since they postponed reporting on a VERY important story about our soldiers overseas (this was a few years ago) to ramble ON and ON and ON about some sports coach who had quit. Who had quit, in a college, half-way across the state! But THAT was more important than our soldiers overseas, whose lives were in danger? Apparently the local yokel station thought so. I was so beyond upset about that. I vowed to NEVER watch the local yokel news again. And I never have.

Capt. Amazing: I understand that the local stations worry about their ad revenue, but since I am not watching them much anyway, they are not going to get much revenue from me. I may watch “24” or “X Files” on the local channels (I get to watch TV at work) but that’s it.

The way I see it, it’s almost as if the local yokel stations are afraid that we’ll have some basis of comparison. That we’ll see how crappy they really are. That we’ll become disgusted with them. They want to keep us trapped and bound by their limited crappiness.

But, not everyone wants to forgoe the local yokel stations! I am sure Lyllyan and I are in the minority, as far as not really liking the local news. Apparently a lot people (especially here in Hooterville) want to watch copious amounts of slavering sports drivel monopolizing the nightly news. If they didn’t, the local yokel stations wouldn’t cater to that. So what do these local yokel stations have to be afraid of? Most dish users will STILL want to watch the local stations. They just want to have a variety - a choice. They like having options. And by refusing them these options, I think the local stations are creating a lot of ill-will. I know that’s how I feel (and I suspect Lyllyan feels the same way too).

Can you buy an illegal descrambler that will do the trick? I don’t have a dish, but I would definately look into the illegal options.

Unfortunately, you have fallen victim to the FCC’s “must carry” rule. It applies to cable and satellite providers. They “must carry” local network (ABC, etc) affiliates. I got my Dish about 5 years ago and have the East-West coast feeds for the four major nets. The East coast comes from New York and the West from Los Angeles. Dish Network is about to absorb, oh, sorry, MERGE with, DirecTV and, according to Dish Network’s website, they will be able to offer everybody theor local channels.

We do not get any network channels with our satellite dish. This especially sucks during football season because the games I most want to watch (NFL and University of Michigan) are mostly only on networks. We have an antenna on a second TV, but since we are way out in a rural area it is not always easy to get good reception.

I really don’t care if they give us the local network channels or the national ones, but I wish they would give us SOME network channels. Actually, the local ones would prolly be better because they would be more likely to be showing Michigan games on Saturday and Green Bay Packer games on Sunday.

yosemitebabe, I quite agree with your rant. In fact, in our household we had NO access to NBC for about a year while Dish and the local NBC affiliate had a foodfight. Miserable fuckers.

One suggestion: if you like time-shifting the stations late (ignoring the problems you’ll be having getting L.A. news, my sympathies there), have you considered a PVR box? We’ve got the Dish version, a PVR 501, and it utterly rocks. 35 hours of programming storage, so timeshift away, its ultra convenient. The box was $150 (one time rental fee) + $5/mo for the programming access.

Mostly we fill it with cartoons for SqueegeeJr, but Mrs Squeegee has Survivor, 24, Friends etc recording themselves, I get the local news whenever I feel like watching. Very cool. (Yes you could do all this with a VCR if you have way too much free time, but its convenient as heck with the PVR box.) And pausing a LIVE broadcast when the phone rings is just way too cool.

Another update: NBC is still with us. I checked the dish web site, and found out that they automatically submitted waiver requests on my behalf, to all the local networks. FOX, CBS and ABC declined. (I still intend to call them up and bug them about it, though.) NBC hasn’t bothered to respond yet. It’s been two and a half months, and they haven’t bothered. The other networks took a few days to about a month to respond, and yet still nothing from NBC. I HOPE this is a good sign. I mean, I hope that NBC just doesn’t care, or my waiver requests have slipped through the cracks, or something. Anyway, so far so good as far as NBC goes.

I also checked into the WB/UPN thing some more, and I don’t feel like my access to KTLA (L.A.'s WB) is as much at risk now. I can order the local yokel WB stations if I want (on the dish) AND yet I am still “eligible” for KTLA. They don’t mind if I have both stations. So I guess that I can sort of start to relax about KTLA. At least for now.

squeegee - good idea about PVR box - that would help somewhat. But no, the main issue (the L.A. stations) would not be resolved.


We have TiVo and that gets around the watching things at other times problem, but it doesn’t solve the shows-that-are-on-simultaneously problem :confused:

Yet another reason to not get a dish.

OpalCat, the newer boxes that shipped this spring (the Dish one is called the PVR-701, I know Tivo has a new one as well) can record up to 2 channels while you watch a third. On the generation you and I have you can only watch something that’s prerecorded while something live is recording, or watch one thing live. The new boxes also give you 70 vs 35 hours of recording (at least for the PVR, YMMV for Tivo). Very spiff.

I kept checking several times during the day, silently daring “them” to pull the plug on my West-East Coast connections. (Right, like I would actually be able to do anything). Then Angel came on, and I just knew they would do it right in the middle of some big scene. But, as of midnight, everything is still on.

And yes, yosemitebabe, I do. But you were so much more eloquent.

Note to self…look into this PVR of which squeegee speaks.